Saturday, October 21, 2006
I hope that all of you are still doing all you can to support our troops and their families. One of my own family members who came back from Iraq earlier this year will be leaving for Afghanistan soon, and there are others I care about still in Iraq, so I do not plan on abandoning my blogsite anytime in the near future. I apologize that the posts are so far behind; I hope to remedy that soon.
Until then, take care! And to all of my Redbull friends - you know who you are - hang in there!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
"Monsters and the Weak"
The sun beat like a hammer, not a cloud was in the sky.
The mid-day air ran thick with dust; my throat was parched and dry.
With microphone clutched tight in hand and cameraman in tow,
I ducked beneath a fallen roof, surprised to hear "stay low."
My eyes blinked several times before in shadow I could see,
the figure stretched across the rubble, steps away from me.
He wore a cloak of burlap strips, all shades of grey and brown,
that hung in tatters till he seemed to melt into the ground.
He never turned his head or took his eye from off the scope,
but pointed through the broken wall and down the rocky slope.
"About eight hundred yards," he said, his whispered words concise,
"beneath the baggy jacket he is wearing a device."
A chill ran up my spine despite the swelter of the heat,
"You think he's gonna set it off along the crowded street?"
The sniper gave a weary sigh and said "I wouldn't doubt it,"
"unless there's something this old gun and I can do about it."
A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered;
while citizens that walked the street were just as quickly scattered.
Till only one remained, a body crumpled on the ground,
The threat to oh so many ended by a single round.
And yet the sniper had no cheer, no hint of any gloat,
instead he pulled a logbook out and quietly he wrote.
"Hey, I could put you on TV that shot was quite a story!"
But he surprised me once again -- "I got no wish for glory."
"Are you for real?" I asked in awe, "You don't want fame or credit?"
He looked at me with saddened eyes and said "you just don't get it."
"You see that shot-up length of wall, the one without a door?
before a mortar hit, it used to be a grocery store."
"But don't go thinking that to bomb a store is all that cruel,
the rubble just across the street -- it used to be a school.
The little kids played soccer in the field out by the road,"
His head hung low, "They never thought a car would just explode."
"As bad as all this is though, it could be a whole lot worse,"
He swallowed hard; the words came from his mouth just like a curse.
"Today the fight's on foreign land, on streets that aren't my own,"
"I'm here today 'cause if I fail, the next fight's back at home."
"And I won't let my Safeway burn, my neighbors dead inside,
don't wanna get a call from school that says my daughter died;
I pray that not a one of them will know the things I see,
nor have the work of terrorists etched in their memory."
"So you can keep your trophies and your fleeting bit of fame,
I don't care if I make the news, or if they speak my name."
He glanced toward the camera and his brow began to knot,
"If you're looking for a story, why not give this one a shot."
"Just tell the truth of what you see, without the slant or spin;
that most of us are OK and we're coming home again.
And why not tell our folks back home about the good we've done,
how when they see Americans, the kids come at a run."
You tell 'em what it means to folks here just to speak their mind,
without the fear that tyranny is just a step behind;
Describe the desert miles they walk in their first chance to vote,
or ask a soldier if he's proud, I'm sure you'll get a quote."
He turned and slid the rifle in a drag bag thickly padded,
then looked again with eyes of steel as quietly he added;
"And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
that we are all that stands between the monsters and the weak."
Sunday, August 06, 2006
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." — Benjamin Franklin
"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." — John Adams
"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once." — DavidHume
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." — JohnF. Kennedy
Friday, August 04, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
These teams are fully ready to assist civil authorities in responding to a domestic weapon of mass destruction incident and possess the requisite skills, training, and equipment to be proficient in all mission requirements.
Congress has authorized a total of 55 WMD-CSTs, enough to field at least one team in every state, territory and the District of Columbia.
To learn more, click here.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Have a few photos to share of various 1-133rd soldiers courtesy of Redbull Web. I wanted to share them with everyone - and while you're browsing the pics of these fine men and women who are serving our military, take a moment out of your day and send them a note of support or say a prayer for their well being. They deserve that from all of us.
Also while you are out web surfing - have you checked out the site of Justice Soldier?
FREEDOM ISN'T FREE! SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Click here to send comments of support to
the people of India in its time of need.
Why is this important?
It is important because this is why all the people who
served and is serving in Iraq and Afghanstan believe
so strongly in what they are doing there
They fight against terror over there so we don't have
happen here what happened in India today.
It's why they Fight. It is why we should fight for
them and support them in every possible way.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you read nothing else on my blog - read this post!
Join me, along with the Tanker Brothers and Semper Gratus, Right Truth, and many others in our efforts to show a solid stand of support for our troops -- as we mock Cindy Sheehan's "Rolling Fast" -- you know where they just fast for ONE DAY and 'pass the fast' around Hollywood and the Code Pink gestapo... We are banding together to show that we do not agree with Cindy Sheehan's political rants!
YOU CAN HELP TOO! Pledge to fast for one day. Just one single day to show your support for those of us who would stand in Cindy's way.
Let's do this!
BACK OFF CINDY!
WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
The theme of the 2006 cross-country ride is “America Still Remembers.” The ride is multi-funtional, serving to aid in the rehabilitation of veterans who return home with injuries incurred in the current military conflicts abroad. To quote the Soldier Ride website: "Participation in our cycling events provides these wounded warriors a foundation for the development of a positive self-image and outlook on life, which speeds the rehabilitation and recovery process...As the wounded service members participating in our ride cycle from city to city, we aim to show them that the country is still behind those who have sacrificed life or limb in support of our freedom. "
What an AWESOME event! The 2006 Soldier Ride will stop in over 70 cities across America -- it began on May 6th in Montauk, NY and will end on July 29th in San Diego, CA.
I applaud these people for their dedication to our wounded veterans.
Take a moment and check out their website!
Make a donation to Soldier Ride!
Post a message of support to the riders!
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
2-136 BearCat Soldier on patrol in Iraq, photo courtesy of Redbull Web.
The following info is courtesy of the BearCat Bugle, a newsletter of the 2nd of the 136 Combined Arms Battalion, 1/34th BCT
Check out some of the ways that the presence of our troops is making a difference in Iraq!
• They have discovered and destroyed 10 weapons caches.
• They have captured over 30 insurgents and sent a majority of them to the Regional Detainment Facility.
• They have broken up two insurgent cells operating in their AO
• They have broken up a kidnapping ring.
• They have ambushed 3 IED teams as they attempted to place their cowardly weapons against their task force.
• They have logged over 450 combat patrols in their sector.
• They have virtually shut down all IDF coming into their camp.
• They have kept Rte Long Island clear of IEDs for one solid Month.
• They have started two school projects.
• They have started two community clean-up projects.
• Their mechanics have serviced or repaired over 600 vehicles.
• They have cleared through our ECPs over 27,000 vehicles with no incidents!
• Their Docs have treated more than 1,500 patients at the BAS.
• Their towers have successfully defended against indirect and direct fire attacks.
• They have gone the past two months with zero vehicle accidents.
• They have provided intelligence that has resulted in missions in other sectors against high-ranking insurgents.
As you can see by the list above—they are making a positive difference. We often hear about all of the bad things happening in Iraq - but there are good things happening as well, and our men and women are getting some great things accomplished. They need to be recognized for the good things that they are doing.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Sunday, July 02, 2006
By John D. Banusiewicz, American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2006 – President Bush yesterday urged Americans to find ways to support the nation's servicemembers through the Defense Department's "America Supports You" program.
In his weekly radio address, the president noted sacrifices made for freedom throughout the nation's history, and suggested that during this Independence Day weekend, Americans turn to America Supports You to find a way to thank the men and women - and their families - who are making those sacrifices now.
"Today, a new generation of American patriots is defending our freedom against determined and ruthless enemies," Bush said. "At this hour, the men and women of our armed forces are facing danger in distant places, carrying out their missions with all the skill and honor we expect of them. And their families are enduring long separations from their loved ones with great courage and dignity.
"Our troops and our military families deserve all our support and gratitude," he continued, "and on this Fourth of July weekend, I ask every American to find a way to thank those who defend our freedom. To find out about efforts in your community, please visit the Web site AmericaSupportsYou.mil."
To read the rest of this story or to learn more about how you can volunteer for 'America Supports You', click on the following links:
Finish reading the story or Learn how to help the efforts at 'America Supports You'
Please join me in recognizing the loss of another Redbull Soldier.
SPC Kyle Miller, a member of the Minnesota National Guard, 682nd Engineer Battalion, within the 134 BSB, died resulting from injuries sustained while on a convoy in Iraq this past week. Kyle was 19 years old and I am sure his family and friends and fellow soldiers could all use some prayers and support right now.
Kyle was among the 2,600 Minnesotans who were part of 4,000 National Guard and Army Reserve troops deployed in March, back when I began this blog to show my support for my Redbull friends and all other military men and women.
To read more about SPC Kyle Miller please click here.
USS Intrepid Celebrates All Things American for the Fourth, New York City
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City is celebrating the Fourth of July with its third annual Red, White and Blue Festival. To read more, click here.
America's 2006 Independence Day Parade, Washington D.C.
The Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, DC begin with the National Independence Day Parade. This flag waving traditional parade features invited bands, military and specialty units, floats, giant balloons, equestrian participants, drill teams, celebrities and more. To learn more, click here.
Coal Creek Fourth of July Celebration and Mountain Run, Boulder
Start the morning off with a bang at the Scar Top Mountain Run and Spruce Canyon 5K, starting at 8 am. The run, which donates 100 percent of its profits to the community, climbs 1,000 feet with an equal amount of descent over the 7.4-mile dirt road course; the Spruce Canyon 5K is a gentler version of the 12K race. The Coal Creek Fourth of July Celebration includes a full morning of family fun, including a parade, pancake breakfast, booths and music. To learn more, click here.
The 25th Annual Lisle Eyes to the Skies Festival, Chicago
Eyes to the Skies includes hot air balloon launches, nationally known musical entertainment, a special children's area, an arts and crafts fair, a variety of food vendors, a large carnival and an assortment of daily events. Click here to learn more.
Family Fourth of July Celebration, Minneapolis
In the Minneapolis Riverfront DistrictThe Minneapolis Riverfront District's 4th of July fireworks can be viewed from Main Street in front of St. Anthony Main, the Stone Arch bridge & along West River Parkway. Click here to learn more.
July 1st & 4th Fair St. Louis Celebration & LIVE on the Levee, St. Louis
Last summer, Celebrate St. Louis - a collaboration of downtown civic organizations produced LIVE on the Levee, a free concert and fireworks event under the Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront. This summer, the new combined entity will produce a free summer concert series on the Riverfront beginning with Fair St. Louis on July 1st & July 4th and continuing with LIVE on the Levee. To get details, click here.
Chevy's Freedom Over Texas, Houston
Houston's Official July 4th Celebration, will celebrate America's Birthday with a live concert featuring a concert with rock 'n' roll Grammy winners Los Lonely Boys., and one of the largest fireworks displays in the state of Texas! This is a one-of-kind family event that will have the eyes of Texas upon Houston for the 4th of July! For details, click here.
Red White and Fleet, San Francisco
SEE THE SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE BAY! The Red and White Fleet will again offer an exceptional opportunity for the public to view the spectacular San Francisco Fireworks displays on July 4th from the middle of the Bay. Click here to learn more.
These and many more 4th of July celebrations are taking place throughout the 4th of July Holiday. It's great to have picnics and barbecues and fireworks - but please remember what this holiday is really all about. Independence Day is truly a time for reflecting upon the foundations of America and what makes this country different from others. It is about true leaders, who dared to dream and who strove for freedom. We owe such a debt to our men and women in the military today who continue to serve America in order to keep her safe and who embody the spirit of patriotism every day.
Take some time this weekend to send your support to our soldiers by clicking on any of the following links:
America Supports You
Email Our Military
Operation Dear Abby
A Million Thanks
Saturday, July 01, 2006
The Site of the Week is none other than http://www.holidays.net/independence/
Remember while enjoying your holiday that we are only able to celebrate it because of our military and their commitment to this great United States of America. Why not do something this weekend to give back -- donate your time as a volunteer at a military hospital or Veteran's home, honor the fallen and their families by joining up with the Patriot Guard Riders on a mission near you, send cards and letters to our troops overseas to show your support, donate to worthy causes such as the Wounded Warrior Project, the Semper Fi Fund, or Soldiers Angels... Let's not forget the original heroes who founded this country and provided us with the foundation for a free America, and let's not forget those who continue to fight today to keep America secure.
Have a safe and fun weekend!
Friday, June 30, 2006
Pfc. Brett L. Tribble, Texas
Maj. Michael D. Stover, Ohio
Staff Sgt. Darren Harmon, Delaware
Cpl. Ryan J. Cummings, Illinois
Petty Officer 1st Class Gary T. Rovinski, Illinois
Sgt. 1st Class Isaac S. Lawson, California
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime S. Jaenke, Wisconsin
Sgt. Mark T. Smykowski, Ohio
1st Lt. Ryan T. Sanders, Texas
Sgt. Carlos E. Pernell, Alabama
Sgt. Daniel R. Gionet, New Hampshire
Staff Sgt. Richard A. Blakley, Indiana
Cpl. Andy D. Anderson, Virginia
2nd Lt. John S. Vaughan, Colorado
1st Lt. Scott M. Love, Alabama
Pfc. David N. Crombie, Nevada
Spc. Luis D. Santos, California
Sgt. 1st Class Clarence D. McSwain, Mississippi
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel B. Crabtree , Ohio
Lance Cpl. Brent B. Zoucha, Nebraska
Sgt. Jose M. Velez, New York
Pvt. Benjamin J. Slaven, Nebraska
Lance Cpl. Salvador Guerrero, California
Seaman Apprentice Zachary M. Alday, Georgia
Cpl. Michael A. Estrella, California
Spc. Jeremiah S. Santos, North Dakota
Spc. Brent W. Koch, Minnesota
Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, Oregon
Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, Texas
Spc. David J. Babineau, Massachusetts
Sgt. Reyes Ramirez, Texas
Spc. Robert L. Jones, Oregon
Cpl. Ryan J. Buckley, Illinois
Staff Sgt. Virrueta A. Sanchez, Texas
Pfc. Paul A. Beyer, North Dakota
Pfc. Devon J. Gibbons, Washington
Spc. Channing G. Singletary, Georgia
Sgt. Jason J. Buzzard, California
Sgt. Sirlou C. Cuaresma, Illinois
Staff Sgt. Mario J. Bievre, Illinois
Pfc. Brian J. Bradbury, Missouri
Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig, Maryland
Cpl. Riley E. Baker, Missouri
Master Sgt. Thomas D. Maholic, Pennsylvania
Sgt. Benjamin J. Laymon, Ohio
Sgt. Justin D. Norton, Washington
Cpl. Paul N. King, Massachusetts
Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar, Michigan
Pfc. Michael J. Potocki, Maryland
Cpl. Ryan J. Clark, California
Cpl. Aaron M. Griner, Florida
Cpl. Jeremy S. Jones, Nebraska
Sgt. 1st Class Terry O.P. Wallace, Louisiana
Pfc. Rex A. Page, Missouri
Cpl. Jason W. Morrow, California
Sgt. Terry M. Lisk, Illinois
Lance Cpl. Nicholas J. Whyte, New York
Cpl. Christopher D. Leon, California
Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Webb, Michigan
Pfc. Christopher N. White, North Carolina
Staff Sgt. Benjamin D. Williams, Texas
Spc. Christopher D. Rose, California
Pfc. Justin R. Davis, Maryland
Sgt. Bryan C. Luckey, Florida
Spc. Kyle Miller, Minnesota
Sgt. James P. Muldoon, Texas
May their sacrifices never be forgotten...
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
You may think it odd that I am including this story in my military support blog, but I assure you that it is with good reason. For those of you who are not familiar with the Elks Organization, they are "The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the USA". They have more than a million members in more than 2,100 local lodges nationwide, and they are very active in Veterans' Services. They show their unwavering commitment to veterans through several projects, including things like their "Adopt-a-Veteran" program, their "Veterans Leather Program", and their program to provide Comfort Care Kits to veterans. They are also dedicated in service as a collecting partner to the Library of Congress for the Veterans' History Project.
The Elks pledge: "So long as there areVeterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks willnever forget them." To learn more about the Elks and how you can volunteer for projects to benefit our nations' veterans, click on any of the above links. Click here to learn more about the Elks Veteran Memorial.
Click here to leave a message of support/encouragement for the family and friends of Tony Komer and the members of the Clinton, Missouri Elks, Lodge #1034.
A memorial fund has been set up asTony Komer Memorial Fund for Tony's children. Donations can be mailed to the bank c/o Citizens Union State Bank P O Box 646 Clinton MO 64735.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The Senate also rejected a proposal put forth by Dick Durbin, an assistant Democratic leader from Illinois. That proposal would have made it illegal for people to damage the U.S. flag on federal land or with the intent of breaching the peace or intimidation. It also would have prohibited unapproved demonstrations at military funerals.
My question is this --
Where is the line to be drawn?
Is there a compromise -- between defending the constitutional right of protesters to use the flag in nonviolent speech -- and keeping those same protestors from desecrating the flag that so many of our men and women have fought and died under?
Monday, June 26, 2006
She may be torn and tattered,
But, still our flag flies free;
Bought with a price, she proudly waves,
For all the world to see.
She will not be defeated,
Forever she will stand;
As Liberty, Freedom, and Justice,
Ring throughout this land.
The stars and stripes a symbol,
Of a country who still prays;
In God we trust... Our flag still stands,
America... Home of the Brave.
~Allison Chambers Coxsey, 2001
Check out http://www.flagsacrossthenation.org/
Sunday, June 25, 2006
The Mental Health Task Force is to be made up of of seven members of the Department of Defense, and seven others who are not members of the Department of Defense. According to the Department of Defense Press Release, the task force will assess the efficacy of mental health services provided to members of the military by the Department of Defense, and submit a report to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in May 2007 with recommendations for improving upon these services.
The first business meeting is set for next month (mid-July).
Congress directed the establishment of this task force as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2006. It is being co-chaired by Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, MD, Army Surgeon General, and a non-DoD person to be elected by the task force membership.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
"Spc. Brent W. Koch, 22, of Morton, Minn. died Friday in Iraq when an improvised explosive device detonated about 9:30 p.m. Iraq time. Koch was a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard’s Company E, 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Combined Arms Battalion based out of Redwood Falls, Minn."
To read the rest of this article, click here.
Two other Guard members, Spc. Gregory Brown and Staff Sgt. Willy Puckett, were injured in the explosion that killed Spc. Koch. To read about these two soldiers and their current situations, click here.
"America's fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed."
~ Allen Boyd
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
THE ONLY FLAG THAT DOESN'T FLY
Between the fields where the flag is planted, there are 9+ miles of flower fields that go all the way to the ocean. The flowers are grown by seed companies. It's a beautiful place, close to Vandenberg AFB.
Check out the dimensions of the flag: The Floral Flag is 740 feet long and 390 feet wide and maintains the proper Flag dimensions, as described in Executive Order #10834. This Flag is 6.65 acres and is the first Floral Flag to be planted with 5 pointed Stars, comprised of White Larkspur. Each Star is 24 feet in diameter; each Stripe is 30 feet wide. This Flag is estimated to contain more than 400,000 Larkspur plants, with 4-5 flower stems each, for a total of more than 2 million flowers. You can drive by this flag on V Street south of Ocean Ave. in Lompoc, CA! ..
Aerial photo courtesy of Bill Morson Soldiers' Prayer
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
My daddy loves me
I already know
He hugs me and kisses me
Please daddy, don't go.
As he leaves our home
On this cold wintery morn
I know that I'll miss him
My heart will be torn.
See my daddy's a sailor
I'm so glad to say
He sails on a ship
Sometimes so far away.
He travels the ocean
And goes to many places
He visits foreign countries
And sees different faces.
My daddy he misses me
He always writes me a letter
To say he'll be home soon
And that all will be better.
I'm counting the days
Until my daddy comes back
When he walks in the door
I will help him unpack.
Oh daddy please hurry
I'm waiting for you
I know you're still out there
On the ocean so blue.
Just sailing and sailing
And sailing the seas
I hope you are coming
Hurry up daddy, please.
It's been a long time
But the day's finally here
When my daddy comes home
I know that he's near.
I watch as his ship
Returns from the sea
We're proud of my daddy
My mommy and me.
He walks off the ship
As proud as can be
He did his part
So we can be free.
I run to my daddy
For a hug and a kiss
He squeezes me so tightly
A squeeze that I miss.
I'm happy my dad's home
Happy as can be
I know he did his job
For my mommy and me.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
1. Sleep on a cot in the garage.
2. Replace the garage door with a curtain.
3. Three hours after you go to sleep, have your wife or girlfriend whip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes and mumble, "Sorry, wrong cot."
4. Renovate your bathroom. Hang a green plastic sheet down from the middle of your bathtub and move the shower-head down to chest level. Keep four inches of soapy cold water on the floor. Stop cleaning the toilet and pee everywhere but in the toilet itself. Leave two to three sheets of toilet paper. Or for best effect, remove it altogether. For a more realistic deployed bathroom experience, stop using your bathroom and use a neighbor's. Choose a neighbor who lives at least a quarter mile away.
5. When you take showers, wear flip-flops and keep the lights off.
6. Every time there is a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking chair and dump dirt on your head.
7. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it on "HIGH" for that tactical generator smell.
8. Don't watch TV except for movies in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch and then show a different one.
9. Leave a lawnmower running in your living room 24 hours a day for proper noise level.
10. Have the paperboy give you a haircut.
11. Once a week, blow compressed air up through your chimney making sure the wind carries the soot across and on to your neighbor's house. Laugh at him when he curses you.
12. Buy a trash compactor and only use it once a week. Store up garbage in the other side of your bathtub.
13. Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a saltine cracker.
14. Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in your food cabinets or refrigerator. Then serve some kind of meat in an unidentifiable sauce poured over noodles. Do this for every meal.
15. Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get to the shower as fast as you can. Simulate there is no hot water by running out into your yard and breaking out the garden hose.
16. Once a month, take every major appliance completely apart and put it back together again.
17. Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for five or six hours before drinking.
18. Invite at least 185 people you don't really like because of their strange hygiene habits to come and visit for a couple of months. Exchange clothes with them.
19. Have a fluorescent lamp installed on the bottom of your coffee table and lie under it to read books.
20. Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills of your front and back doors so that you either trip over the threshold or hit your head on the sill every time you pass through one of them.
21. Keep a roll of toilet paper on your night stand and bring it to the bathroom with you. And bring your gun and a flashlight.
22. Go to the bathroom when you just have to pass gas, "just in case." Every time.
23. Announce to your family that they have mail, have them report to you as you stand outside your open garage door after supper and then say, "Sorry, it's for the other Smith."
24. Wash only 15 items of laundry per week. Roll up the semi-wet clean clothes in a ball. Place them in a cloth sack in the corner of the garage where the cat pees. After a week, unroll them and without ironing or removing the mildew, proudly wear them to professional meetings and family gatherings. Pretend you don't know what you look or smell like. Enthusiastically repeat the process for another week.
25. Go to the worst crime-infested place you can find, go heavily armed, wearing a flak jacket and a Kevlar helmet. Set up shop in a tent in a vacant lot. Announce to the residents that you are there to help them.
26. Eat a single M&M every Sunday and convince yourself it's for Malaria.
27. Demand each family member be limited to 10 minutes per week for a morale phone call. Enforce this with your teenage daughter.
28. Shoot a few bullet holes in the walls of your home for proper ambiance.
29. Sandbag the floor of your car to protect from mine blasts and fragmentation.
30. While traveling down roads in your car, stop at each overpass and culvert and inspect them for remotely detonated explosives before proceeding
31. Fire off 50 cherry bombs simultaneously in your driveway at 3:00 a.m. When startled neighbors appear, tell them all is well, you are just registering mortars. Tell them plastic will make an acceptable substitute for their shattered windows.
32. Drink your milk and sodas warm.
33. Spread gravel throughout your house and yard.
34. Make your children clear their Super Soakers in a clearing barrel you placed outside the front door before they come in.
35. Make your family dig a survivability position with overhead cover in the back yard. Complain that the 4x4s are not 8 inches on center and make them rebuild it.
36. Continuously ask your spouse to allow you to go buy an M-Gator.
37. When your 5-year-old asks for a stick of gum, have him find the exact stick and flavor he wants on the Internet and print out the web page. Type up an 1149 and staple the web page to the back. Submit the paperwork to your spouse for processing. After two weeks, give your son the gum.
38. Announce to your family that the dog is a vector for disease and shoot it. Throw the dog in a burn pit you dug in your neighbor's back yard.
39. Wait for the hottest day of the year and announce to your family that there will be no air conditioning that day so you can perform much needed maintenance on the air conditioner. Tell them you are doing this so they won't get hot.
40. Just when you think you're ready to resume a normal life, order yourself to repeat this process for another six months to simulate the next deployment you've been ordered to support.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
"We are experiencing a new insurgent tactic in this area of Iraq and I wanted to tell you all first- Al Qaeda has implanted a terrorist pigeon that apparently has a bounty on my head- at least some nights when I am walking to use the bathroom at about 3am and I walk too close to her nest that is about 8 feet high- she gives me a close fly-by to scare me…she is a perfect 4 and 0, as she has gotten me every time, a few of them almost making me p#$#$p my pants! I hope the CIA or someone is getting onto this stuff before something bad happens…"
P.S. "Justice Soldier" aka SFC Smith, is a REDBULL soldier! HOOAH!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Check out these clips, sent to me by a Redbull friend. They're pretty interesting!
Special Report: Iowans in Iraq
by Doug Grindle, KCRG-TV9 News Correspondent
Special Report: Iowans in Iraq - Life at Camp
by Doug Grindle, KCRG-TV9 News Correspondent
Special Report: Iowans in Iraq-The Heat
by Douglas Grindle, KCRG-TV9 News Correspondent
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
and Troy Fields
I've been thinking about you a lot today, as I do every day. I've seen the news, and I've read the newspapers...
I know how you told me before you left, not to put my trust in the mainstream media, and to always question that which they display as fact...but it is hard when I haven't heard from you in weeks, and when I worry so much about your well-being.
They say that no news is good news, and unless I am a recipient of the dreaded home visit, you know the one to which I am referring, or unless I hear otherwise, that I should take comfort in knowing you are out there somewhere, fulfilling your obligations, manning your weapon, surviving your missions... I try to take comfort in this, as I know that there are so many whose loved ones have not come home, whose seat at the dinner table will be empty in years to come, whose children will never feel their arms around them again...
And yet, I still sit here. Day after day, I sit here and I stare out the window, and I stare at the four walls around me, and I pray to God that today will be the day that I hear from you, and that I will find comfort in your words, however brief they may be. I pray that you will have the strength and the stamina and the necessities you need to be successful in your duties...
I think about this war, and those who have given their lives in sacrifice for our freedoms, defending our country, standing up for what is right, and fighting to the death to help another country cultivate the same sense of security in their own land. I think about them, and I applaud them, and my heart breaks for them, and yet I am selfish -- I do not want you to become one of them...
I want to be strong for you, and I want you to be proud of me, that I am not falling apart in your absence. I portray to you when I am able to, that I am a rock, although inside there are times when I am crumbling...
I hear songs on the radio that remind me of you... I sing along and try to hold the tears back as the same melodies that we sang together to, danced to, lived by... haunt me...
I see photographs of us together... times gone by that remind me how special you are... how very unique you are... and how very much I want to have more photos like this taken in the future...
I drive down familiar roads, and pass by familiar places, where you and I have been together, and I feel so very small and alone there without you now...
The truth of it all, is that I miss you.
I miss our conversations, from the mundane, to the comical, to the extreme...
I miss your face. I miss looking into your eyes and seeing myself in their reflection...
I miss your smile.. the way your mouth turns up at the corners and your warmth radiates the room and permeates my soul...
I miss your laughter... I miss the way the sound of it makes even good times better...
I miss your arms holding me close and letting me know that everything is going to be okay...
I miss you...
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I received this in an email from a friend and I had never seen it before --
These are photos from a trucker who has painted his cab and trailer with the names of all those who lost their lives in 9/11.
The trucker's name is John Holmgren from Shafer, Minn.
The trucker has been "pulled over" numerous times just so the troopers can get their picture taken with the truck.
A huge thank you John Holmgren, wherever you are, for this fantastic tribute -- and a thank you to my friend Jolene in Oak Harbor, Washington for the chance to share this with others!
Saturday, May 27, 2006
On this special day we remember those who gave their lives that we might live free...
How many of you know the story behind the Buddy Poppies that are seen everywhere in the Spring? My first recollection of these bright red paper flowers is from when I was a small child, and in the Spring my grandpa would always buy me a handful of the poppies and tell me that they were special flowers to help special people.
I didn't understand then, the way that I do now.
'The red poppy became associated with war after the publication of a poem by Canadian war veteran, Colonel John McCrae titled, "In Flanders Fields".
The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
It was during the 1923 encampment that the VFW decided that VFW Buddy Poppies be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with some form of financial assistance. The plan was formally adopted during the VFW's 1923 encampment. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time.
In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.'
(Info taken from VFW Official Website)
As a child, I didn't understand the symbolism of these simply crafted red flowers. I only knew that my grandpa told me they were very special. Grandpa was a veteran, having served in World War II, so I guess he knew what he was talking about. I lost my grandpa several years ago, but every Spring when I see the brilliantly red poppies, I think of him, and of all those who have given so much for me and for you.
To learn more -- click on the VFW or the Buddy Poppy Program
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Friday, May 26, 2006
For more info on this powerful and captivating piece, featuring video shot by the Marines of Lima Company themselves -- click here.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Basically, I got a great email today from a friend of mine who is also a proud supporter of our troops. This photo was attached to the forward and I really liked it. Not sure whose graphic it is, so I can't give credit, but thought it was worth sharing.
As you start your week today -- please keep in mind the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who are putting their lives on the line so that you don't have to fear being attacked by terrorists when you walk out your front door.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
I just wanted to put up a post to let you all know that I have received confirmation from both the family and the Central Missouri Ride Captain -- the Patriot Guard Riders will be there to show their support in honor of Pvt Al Gaylord.
This Mission Ride has three parts:
Funeral in Carrollton; Escort Ride from Carrollton to Lebanon (165 miles, with one fuel stop at Warsaw); and Burial at Lebanon. Ride Captain is Big Dog. Assemble at the VFW, 104 Walnut Drive in Carrollton. Please arrive early, to sign ride waivers (required for this Mission Ride). Mission Briefing at 0800, kickstands up at 0815.
For more info click here.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
I apologize for the lapse, just found out that a family member's brother in law was killed in Iraq on May 5th.
Alva "Al" Gaylord belonged to the 110th Engineer Battalion, Missouri Army National Guard. He died of injuries sustained when a roadside bomb detonated near his RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle during a combat clearing operation in Qasr Ar Riyy, Iraq. He was 25 years old and from Carrollton, Missouri.
For those of you in the area I will post visitation and funeral information as soon as I receive details.Please keep his family and friends in your prayers.
Alva "Al" Gaylord
Friday, May 12, 2006
I am writing to ask for your support as I begin a new project on behalf of my deployed friends. Most of you are already familiar with my blog, and I thank all of you who have come by and checked it out and left your feedback. I have started a new project and need your help.
I am trying to get together a bunch of cards to send over to Iraq to give to the Redbull soldiers, aka Desert Bulls, that my blog was started in honor of.
These men and women deserve the best support that we can offer them, and I am asking that you will help me to honor them this Independence Day by assisting me in filling care packages to them with cards and letters of support, hope, and thanks. I realize that this doesn't give everyone a lot of time to go out and buy cards or write letters, but it is important enough to me that I know I have to try. If you are willing to help me to honor these men and women please send all cards and letters for them to me so I can pass them on.
The sooner the better! If you are willing and able to help out - please send all cards and letters to me at the following address by June 16th:
PO Box 143
Chilhowee, MO 64733
p.s. While I've got your attention -- head over to Kat's site at YIKES! and help her fulfill her needs for Operation: Thanks For Freedom.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
This one is courtesy of Tim at t.f. boggs .
He has given me permission to repost it and share it with you all. The following goes into detail about some of his personal experiences while deployed in Iraq, including showing the reader a glimpse of what it has been like working alongside some Iraqi Army soldiers. My thanks to Tim for sharing this with me.
BREAKING DOWN WALLS:
"The past week I have been surrounded by 18-50 year old Sunni Iraqis and have lived to tell about it. In this racially profiling type of world that we live in these men are terrorists hell bent on the destruction of the Western world, but in my new world I have a different view of these guys. Who are these Iraqis you may be asking? My new best friends.
I changed jobs last week after my previous mission was handed over to civilians. I am currently working guarding my base and am surprisingly enjoying myself. I work with 3 other American soldiers and a handful of Iraqi army soldiers (IA). Part of my day is spent controlling the flow of traffic in and out of the base and the rest of it is spent hanging out with the Iraqi soldiers learning Arabic, drinking tea, and smoking hookahs. I joke around with the IA saying that we should call it school instead of work since we spend the majority of our day learning from each other.
I am not a big fan of my new job but the interaction with the IA and local Iraqis more then make up for the dullness of the work. I have met numerous local civilians in my area who are more concerned with getting rid of the terrorists in their neighborhoods then they are with their own safety. Each time they give us information to the whereabouts and activities of terrorists in our area they risk not only their lives but also the lives of their family. I work in an area where the IA are locally born and raised and the civilians do what they can to help the Americans root out the bad guys, and all of this in a Sunni town.
I know a lot of people would caution me not to put my complete trust in my new friends, and while I believe they are somewhat right, I would say that they would have to come to Iraq and see these guys for themselves. I have only been around the soldiers for a week and already I have wrestled with them in a guard shack, been beaten in an arm wrestling contest, shared food off the same plate, and smoked out of the same pipe with them. I joke around with them in Arabic and call them my brothers and they always reply in English with a resounding “Yes, very good.”
Because of the obvious language barrier with some of the IA our conversations are limited until one of the interpreters has time to translate for us. Most of the time the soldiers want to know if we have wives and children back home. When I tell them I don’t they want to know why and then question me about my age. I explain to them that if I didn’t spend the better part of the last 4 years in Iraq then I might have a better chance at finding a “Madame” as they say. They find it fascinating that we are able to date for long periods of time and can have more then one girlfriend before getting married. I guess I better get started finding a wife and having kids because if I come back here then I will be better able to relate. “Yes we don’t make enough, and yes my baby needs food too, and yes the wife wants new shoes and a purse too. Life is tough but we do what we can right?”
They are just as eager to bring me anything that I might need as I am to do the same for them. One soldier even invited me to dinner with his family and I look forward to going as soon as I am able to. They have the same gripes and complaints that American soldiers do: they are underpaid, underappreciated, and definitely know how to do things better then their commanders do. They complain about their food, clothes, and rules they have to follow. All soldiers are the same apparently.
Not everything about the IA in my area is hunky dory though. Most of the soldiers don’t like the Kurds or Shiites. They think the Kurds should leave Iraq and get their own country and are wary of the Shiites because they remember the long war against Iran that their fathers fought. They are extremely nationalistic and tend to look down upon foreigners in their country. However, I do encourage them by making fun of the Turkish workers here who can’t seem to fix things properly the first time and have to keep coming back again and again for the same problems.
Overall I enjoy spending my time learning about the Iraqi soldiers’ culture and lives. I enjoy their acceptance of my soldiers and I and am thankful that I am able to see them with my own eyes as people with cares and needs. They aren’t crazed terrorists like the media would have you believe. They want to make the most of the opportunity that they have right now. They realize that now is the time for them to decided their own fate and they are acting accordingly by showing bravery and courage in the face of certain danger. They are our allies and although they don’t agree with us on everything they do agree with us on one key point; freedom is the best answer and if Iraq is ever going to be truly free then they have to get rid of the terrorists in their towns and make a stand while they still can. Their future is in their own hands and from what I have seen so far I would say that their future looks bright."
(as posted by T. F. Boggs)
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Just a quick update to let you all know how happy I am to have heard from my friends who are Redbulls deployed with the 1/34th BCT and currently in Iraq. Everyone seems to be doing well. I've been told that so far their missions have been successful, and no one has been seriously injured. Keywords appear to be "camels", "HOT", and "sand".
Please keep my Redbull friends in your thoughts as they continue to serve our country and fulfill their varied duties in Iraq, including Fink, Croson, Fields, Bari, Reineke, Morrison, Inserrea, Ring, Bleuer, Smith, Fletcher, Greiner, and others from the 1/34th BCT, including those from units 1/133rd INF, 2-136 CAB, 1-125 STRIKE, 134 BSB, 1-34 BTB, and the 1-167 RSTA.
These men and women need your support and encouragement.
~Tab (aka proudfan)
..."whether you're Democrat or Republican, Legal or Illegal, Immigrant or Native, Left or Right, this is just plain wrong. Why is the US government reporting the whereabouts of AMERICAN CITIZENS to a FOREIGN GOVERNMENT?!! Unless you live in a bubble (or don't watch the news, which is more plausible), you've heard about the minutemen project along our border with Mexico. The goal of the minutemen is to monitor the border for evidence or indications of illegal border crossings and report it to the Border Patrol. They are not supposed to actively engage the border crossers or commit any crimes themselves.
"According to three documents on the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site, the U.S. Border Patrol is to notify the Mexican government as to the location of Minutemen and other civilian border patrol groups when they participate in apprehending illegal immigrants -- and if and when violence is used against border crossers." If this wasn't infuriating enough, since when does the MEXICAN government dictate US policy to us?! WE ARE A SOVEREIGN NATION!! Mexico depends on us more than we depend on them. Why are we allowing them to tell us what our policy is or is not with respect to our borders?
Ladies and gentlemen, this type of policy demands a letter to our elected representatives, whether you like them or not. I'm not telling you what to write because you may disagree with me. Whether you agree or disagree, our elected officials need to know our feelings about this issue. If you like the policy of reporting American locations to a foreign government, then tell your Congressman to make sure the program continues. If you agree with me that this is an egregious assault on our privacy and the freedoms we enjoy (and I fight for) in this country, write your Congressman and tell him/her.
Personally, when I write my Congressman I'm gonna feel bad because I've been writing him a lot lately. I told myself I would give him some air and stop writing so much (about immigration, Iraq, gas prices, etc). But, I can't let this pass. The second amendment to our Constitution guarantees to us a "well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State." I have no idea if this is against some sort of law or not, but I do know that it's against the law (Title 10, US Code) for the military to spy on American citizens. I'm sure that goes for the rest of the federal government as well, I just don't know where to look.
If you want to know a little more about what the law of the land is with regard to illegal immigration, read the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 . Why isn't our government enforcing its own laws? Okay, that is a whole other topic. But, as a soldier I see this as a national security issue. We're fighting an enemy who KNOWS our southern border is easy to cross.
Okay, I'm all worked up now. I better end this now.-- CJ
A Soldier's Perspective http://www.soldiersperspective.us/
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Sunday, May 07, 2006
You may recognize him as Emily's husband - Emily has a great site too! Check it out!
Staff Sgt Daniel Bari, 134th BSB, nears the finish line
of the Boston/Iraq Marathon April 15.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." -Samuel Adams
Friday, May 05, 2006
Well, it's been all over the news for two days now -- Moussaoui has been sentenced to life in prison for the part he played as a conspirator in the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. Many are torn over the verdict, some angry that he was not given the death penalty instead. Moussaoui will spend the rest of his days in solitary confinement at the only Super Maximum Security prison in the United States, located in Colorado. At one point in the proceedings, Moussaoui hissed, "God curse America, and God save Osama bin Laden! You will never get him!" Even after he had been sentenced, Moussaoui continued to spit his vile insults in the courtroom, telling the judge and jury, "America, you lost! . . . I won!". His comment was met with disdain by Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, who according to reporteers replied by saying, "You came here to be a martyr and to die in a big bang of glory, but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, you will die with a whimper."
I am not interested in stirring up a huge political debate -- but I am curious about your opinons due to all of the controversy that has been sparked by this verdict. Do you think Moussaoui should have been sentenced to death? Or is the life sentence fitting? I'm just curious what some of you make of the situation...
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
In the latest Edition of the Army Times, there was an insert called "America Salutes the Military". In this section, were a bunch of quotes that American celebrities and other notables have shared their thoughts about our military men and women. After going to the site and reading all of the incredible things there - I wanted to share some of them with you.
"Throughout my adult life, I have always tried to acknowledge the debt I owe to my military experience, for allowing me to serve my country and for instilling within me strong moral fiber and self-discipline. These qualities have served me well in a film and television career where I have played many heroic characters. Today, more than ever, the inspiration for the parts I play is found in you - our nation's men and women in uniform - and the selfless contributions you make on a daily basis to keep our country safe and free. I salute you. I thank you. And I wish you Godspeed and a safe return home."
- Chuck Norris, Actor
"I just want to tell the troops that I'm with them 110 percent, and I know that they're doing a good thing. Don't listen to the skeptics; continue to do what you do. We need these brave soldiers to fight for our way of life. And the fact that they have the nuts to do that is just unbelievable to me. Tell everyone I said "Git-R-Done.""- --Larry the Cable Guy, Blue-collar comedian
"As the driver of the Team Marines NASCAR Busch Series team, I have had the honor to meet many Marines. I want to take this time to thank every one of them for their service to our country. The sacrifices they make allow us to spend our time racing these cars and entertaining the folks back at home. On behalf of the entire NASCAR community, I want to thank not only the Marines but all the other members of our armed services for their hard work and service to the United States."
- Ashton Lewis Jr., Driver, No. 25 Team Marines; NASCAR Busch Series
"I want to thank you for serving our country. What you're doing is a noble cause; we are fighting the terrorism in the world wherever you are. I've traveled this country coast to coast just about every year, and the support for the military is out there and it's very strong."
- Charlie Daniels, Country music artist
"I have a deep admiration for the military troops. These are brave individuals who leave their families to protect our country and the future of America. It takes an incredible personal commitment and true selflessness to face the dangers and challenges our troops face every day. While a lot of athletes talk about going to war, the soldiers know firsthand the true meaning of this."
- Oscar De La Hoya, Professional boxer
"I've worked with the military through my field of entertainment for almost 50 years. I recognized early on that these men and women possessed a quality that few Americans would ever know - the pride in knowing they wore the uniform of the greatest nation on earth. Regardless of the mission, they execute their duties with dignity and precision. We have come to expect no less from our men and women in uniform and they have risen to the challenge. ... For every young man and woman who has stepped up to fill the shoes of those before them, and for every family who has given their support to their son and daughter who have become part of our military, a grateful nation says thank you."
- Lee Greenwood, Country music singer
"It's not an understatement to say that the visit we had with our wounded troops was one of the most emotional experiences we have ever had, and one that we will never forget. "Inspirational" is a word that springs to mind, but it really doesn't do justice to the feelings we experienced that day hanging out with those brave guys. Of course, we would do it again in a heartbeat."
- Dusty Hill, ZZ Top bassist
"For all you do ... this Bud's for you! Stay strong, God bless and thank you for allowing me to "keep on kid rockin' in the free world!""
- Kid Rock, Rock/rap musician
"While we were in Torino. I got a lot of good e-mails of support from people who were deployed and it was really motivating to hear those words from them over there and how proud they were of us. It's really hard to explain to people how proud we are of them. We're representing them, trying to do our best, and their job is much more difficult and a lot harder than people can imagine. I was real proud to represent them and really happy to be able to show what the U.S. Army is about in the Olympic Games and around the world."
- Spc. Steve Holcomb, Driver, U.S. Olympic Men's Bobsled team; Utah National Guardsman
"We can't tell [the troops] - and we try to - what they mean to us and what they mean to our country. ... We're proud of you no matter where you are. We're proud that you're serving your country. It really is a great duty to serve your country ... we don't want [you] to feel overlooked. [You] signed up and are serving our country. What an honor it is for me to be around you and your service. The one thing that I never heard was a complaint from any soldier. We've met thousands. They never said, "I wish we weren't here." They all know their goal, [and] they accept it with a lot of pride and honor."
- Neal McCoy, Country music singer
You guys make us proud. You have our eternal thanks, love and respect. Stay safe."
- John Mellencamp, Rock musician
"I went to Afghanistan. It was probably one of the best experiences of my life just to go there. It was just a wonderful opportunity to give back. For me personally, I don't have any [family] in the war. I didn't how much hard work they're doing over there. I got an up-close and personal view of what they're dong every day, facing attack and changing the lives of the Afghani people. [The troops] all believe they are doing the right thing. It makes me feel better here that they're there. We had, like, three of the troops that were personal escorts. We bonded and got along so well. It was such an emotional experience. I remember all the awards and medals and patches they gave us for being over there. They were just excited for us to be over there. When I got back on the plane I was crying. First and foremost, [you're] so brave ... thank you. Just know that we really do appreciate what you do over there. I could see firsthand the hard work they do over there ... I'm just so thankful for the bravery of the men and women serving."
- Candace Michelle, WWE Raw star; 'Playboy' model
"My visit to the J. Walter Reed hospital was powerful, inspiring and life-altering. ... I have a deep respect and great concern for them, not just while they bravely put themselves in harm's way, but also when they come home, that whenever and however needed, they have appropriate support systems for themselves and their families. ... We owe them this. We owe them our gratitude and more."
- Michael Bolton, Pop singer
"I would like to salute all U.S. service men and women who risk their lives every day to protect and serve our country. You are an inspiration to every American - regardless of race, class or profession. Having been raised in a military family, I can greatly appreciate the dedication, strength and courage it takes to do your jobs. Many sports fans look up to me because of how well I play basketball. But I look up to all armed service men and women for their sacrifice and unselfish characteristics. You are the true heroes and heroines, and Officer O'Neal salutes you."
- Shaquille O'Neal, NBA player, Miami Heat; special U.S. deputy marshal
"It was a very humbling experience visiting the wounded troops. I was very nervous about meeting them. Usually it's the other way around and people sometimes get nervous about meeting me. I didn't know what to expect, but I was really struck by their incredible spirit and pride. We should treat these kids bigger than rock stars for what they've done for us."
- Ozzy Osbourne, Lead singer, Black Sabbath, solo heavy-metal star
"Without the military and the people who serve this country, we would not play and enjoy the games we love. We hear the words "role model" used often in professional sports, but this is just a game - a form of entertainment. Our military risk their lives to ensure our freedom and way of life. To me, there are no greater role models to follow. I am grateful for their service and for the sacrifices they make for this country."
- Mariano Rivera, MLB pitcher, New York Yankees
"To the men and women who have answered the call to serve this country by joining the military, I salute you. My hat is raised in honor of you and my heart is open for you. Defending all our freedom from places both near and foreign is the ultimate civic duty, and I applaud you. You are the ones we think about and praise when we sing, "I need a soldier." You and your families are constantly in our prayers and we continue to thank God for each and every one of you. Stay blessed."
- Kelly Rowland, R&B singer, Destiny's Child
"I can honestly say that the work I have done with the USO has been some of the best work of my life. But to say it is work would be doing it a disservice. It is not work. It is a rewarding pleasure to support our service members and I am honored to be able to do it. ... When visiting Landstuhl Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed, I met many our brave wounded soldiers and Marines and saw first hand how dedicated our doctors and nurses are to these service members and their families."
- Gary Sinise, Actor, 'CSI: New York'
"We want to salute all the members of the armed services for their dedication to the protection of our country. Often we take for granted that the protection they provide allows us to work and play at home without fear ... Every race, I get to meet men and women from the Marine Corps and thank them for all they do for our country."
- Regan Smith, Driver, No. 35 Team (McDonald's), NASCAR Busch Series
"The whole country is behind you! We thank you for your service!"
- Mort Walker, Cartoonist, creator of Beetle Bailey
"I am just a country boy and I really love this land, from the mountains of Montana to the Alabama sand. You are the men and women who have fought for the freedom that we all take for granted. I am proud to be an American and proud of all of you. Just remember, America will survive!"
- Hank Williams Jr., Country music singer
Click here to read more!
Friday, April 28, 2006
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FILM TRAILER
The much anticipated and highly controversial film, UNITED 93, hits theatres today across the country. The film, directed by British filmmaker, Paul Greengrass, tells the story of United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, NJ to San Francisco California on September 11, 2001.
The families of the 40 passengers who were killed on the real United Flight 93 cooperated in the production of the film, offering Greengrass detailed background information about their loved ones to help with the film -- down to the clothes they wore and what kind of candy they might've snacked upon on the plane. Victims' families were among the first to see "United 93" at screenings set up for them by Universal Pictures, who is distributing the film. Universal reportedly plans to donate 10 percent of the first weekend's box-office grosses to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa., where the plane crashed.
Here's what a few critics had to say about this film:
NewsMax (4/14/06) – “Rush Limbaugh Praises 'United 93' Movie” – “America's number one talk-radio host, Rush Limbaugh, is giving an enthusiastic thumbs up to the controversial new 9/11 movie, ‘United 93.’ Limbaugh said on Friday's broadcast that critics are wrong when they say it's too soon to revisit the events of Sept. 11, 2001.”
Los Angeles Times (4/18/06) – “It’s Time We Looked” by Patrick Goldstein – Article encourages viewers to see United 93 with an open mind.
Hollywood Elsewhere (4/12/06) – “Blown Away” by Jeffrey Wells – “Is Paul Greengrass's ‘United 93’ (Universal, 4.28) a knockout, a time-stopper, a mind-blower? It sure as hell is . . . Is feeling power-drilled all over again by one of the worst real-life nightmares of all time a good thing? To me, it is. It happened, it's real, and this film knocks your socks off because it takes you right back to that surreal morning and that feeling, that almost-afraid-to-breathe feeling, and to me, that's partly what good films do -- they lift you out of your realm and make you forget about everything but what's on-screen.”
Writer/director/producer Paul Greengrass with the cast and crew of Universal Pictures’ unflinching drama United 93.